Abstract in all senses of the word, this Monica Rose music video release for her track ALIEN will make you feel other worldly! Wildly creative with claymation animation, an impressive and time consuming effort resulting in a Mark Twain‘s Mysterious Stranger style presentation. She creates a scene in a room of art, singing lyrics like, “Staring out at the stars you’d think I’m not from here,” Monica seems to be in a state of contemplation. Over a lo-fi indie rock production, following up from her music video for BUTTERFLIES, Monica Rose has a fresh and dynamic style that sticks out among Chicago artists, exciting to hear what she may be coming up with next. A keeper for the playlist!
Making noise out South in Florida, this talent rocks the mic with energy and character! Introduced to Summer through a live performance, at an event hosted by Ivan L & Bro Life at Lozers in Pompano Beach, there was no knowing what to expect! Summer easily took over the room with her energy, quite literally, walking out past the stage and into the lounge areas. With ease she hits her highest octaves, balanced with her sultry lows. A spectacle in the middle of a room of hip hop artists and fans, as she wows them all with a dose of R&B.
Such charisma from Summer comes from the fresh release of her debut EP. A five song project dubbed LILO’S LEGACY, with a cover of her puppy, and a great introduction to Summer! Starts of light hearted and a bit theatric with a tune called PLAYED, confessing in her own words “damn I got played, just trying to get laid.” Though a bit comedic, the performance was still dynamic, with the harmonies, melody and her vocals and piano chords. She either brushed off that problem, or is a natural entertainer!
The next track MUST BE BAD lays down the tone for the rest of LILO’S LEGACY. Getting more familiar with her powerful vocals, going back and forth between her lyrical and singing ability. LOVERS ODYSSEY offers another style, as the beat is more pop and future bass edm, yet maintaining the R&B and soulful style to her voice and lyrics. SANCTUARY is definitely a favorite; most melodic, harmonic and passionate and contains some uplifting language, “smile cause you’re gorgeous, cause you can hold a pitch, smile even though you feel like shit.” Ending LILO’S LEGACY with another pop tune, with an electronic bass beat and a good attitude, making light of often lowly situations. The potential is high for Summer and her vocal talent and writing, she is an instant favorite and a must see live!
Coming upon the delicate sounds of Heidi Lilli a few summers ago in Chicago. Appearing at Ever Evolved & EAT Well Evolve And Thrive Fest among a handful of Chicago hip hop, rock, edm and indie genres. To the ears delight she confidently performed solo and with her ukulele. Delighting the audience with witty jokes and up beat tunes, a head turning difference in the diversity of Chicagos talent.
Fast forward today, she is now living on the West Coast with a new brand and additional talent! Cooperating with her partner to form Lilli & Charles, the two have been releasing music consistently since summer 2020. Recently upon the new year, the duo released a lyric video for a new tune called IN MY HOMETOWN, keeping on with the up beat, pop sound that you can compare to Buddy Holly. Aside from an independent release of her EP NOMAD, Heidi has also multiplied her talents to include make up artistry for photo, film, beauty, etc. to add to her songwriting, piano and ukulele instrumentation.
Coming across fresh faces in Nobatoby! Releasing a music video recently and bringing summer energy back into our lives. Using a song off their debut EP BRAIN STORM, the Chicago artists create a visual water park experience, creating a nostalgic vibe with the combination of music. Taking advantage of the empty amusement rides in NYC due to COVID circumstances. Adding to the diversity of Chicago music, alternative indie rock music fans would enjoy this, with a similar sound to Smashing Pumpkins and the likes, GO DOWN it is already on replay here!
Another up and coming artist in Chicago is breaking grounds with a significant achievement in her music career. Yajaira is making some noise with her debut EP, REALISY. The singer, dancer and model is inclined towards soulful genres like R&B, Pop, Neo-Soul and even Gospel, having experience singing in Church and summer camp talent competitions. Her debut EP even dips into more cultural genres like reggae, and reggaeton creating a diverse portfolio from the start.
Starting REALISY off strong with a MAKE IT, a collaboration featuring K Breeze, and J. Trav. Walking the line of confidence and ambition with a hook like, “My future I can see it. When my eyes close, I can dream it. Can’t let no one come between, all my life I swear I mean it.” Following up would be WHAT YOU DO TO ME, a reggae influenced track adding diversity to the EP, singing about the dance of a temporary and fleeting seduction. Pondering about attraction in TO BE IN LOVE, she sings beautifully as she unravels her thoughts. Yajaira innocently lets her fans know the project is about her own perspectives, embracing her point of view and being able to visually create the world she sees. Her vocals paint a colorful picture of her mind and her range is a refreshing addition to the music community in Chicago, particularly R&B.
Coming up upon another talented artist that displays the amazing diversity in Chicagos music scene. A model with a beautiful voice, Kellen Fescina comes into attention with a sensual pop single called ADDICTED. Not new to the mic in the slightest however, Kellen has a few releases this year following a hiatus. Currently armed with a 12 track album and some singles, she has bounced between synth pop styles, dance music tracks and experimental rock. ADDICTED takes on more of an R&B aura, and shows a maturity and more confidence in her presentation compared to her earlier work!
Singing “Boy you got me drunk off your love, it’s addicting! I need it, I fiending! You got me losing my mind,” over a slow beat and piano chords. The chorus uplifts you with a vibrant emotional serenade, as you fall into a dream state! A powerful yet gentle tune to add to your playlist, to really get the vibe right in an intimate setting. This track follows LEAVE ME and SHINING, a hip hop and house beat respectively, released earlier this year. Quite a different energy from her earlier releases in her album LOVE IS A GAME, where that album treads into retro and old school styles and influences, while her recent releases have more a contemporary, confident and original quality. It is always interesting to hear an artists experiments and progression!
Back in the middle of summer, Queen Mars had gone through some creative angst brought upon early lockdown orders, that was only cured through song and visual expression. She freed herself with the release of B!TCH, and its accompanying music video that she created with just a phone and strobe light. An artistically racy video that drew attention from censures and challenges, but was ultimately won over with support and admiration of a large audience at 11k views! That first B!TCH was a riot, but this second B!TCH is a boss!
With a new music video to top and remake the summer hit, Queen Mars turns on that boss B!TCH energy in this hyper artistic visual. With abstract visual symbolism at ever turn, Queen Mars goes from a confident, empowered woman to Picasso in just two videos. Starting at admiring herself in the mirror, to stoically sitting at a table like a center piece, laying next to a goldfish tied to floating balloons, to a favorite: fashionably posing like a Queen glowing in the sun, on a small platform fit just for her. All pointing to the fact that she is the one in control, she is that B!TCH. Whether she is creating her own music video, making abstract symbolic visual art, or just singing with that flawless and powerful voice. Join the 16k viewers in this experiencing this masterpiece!
An astounding performative character, on and off the stage! Radiating confidence, independence and joy where ever she is seen. Emma Grace is an artist on another level, with quite an inspiring attitude, whether she knows it or not. First learning of Emma at an Ever Evolved open mic event, she is making noise right now with a release, and it is exciting to hear some new music from this artist!
Upon first look Emma looks like a sweet, cherishing gal, but that is changed instantly upon her behavior and talent on stage! Enveloping a room with her deep range of vocals and energy, and it is contagious. She is a rockstar! Her style of music and lyricism captures you and you cannot help but move! More than that, she can be an inspiring character for confidence on and off stage.
Emma is an artist to push boundaries no doubt, of what it is to be, look and act like as an artist. As a curvy woman, she proudly displays her beauty in a multitude of ways. From tastefully provocative photography as a model, to performing on stage, in front of a crowd with nothing on, but pasties and underwear. Whether she intended to or not, she may as well accept the banner of a role model for confidence, self love and joyfulness!
Aside from her inspiring and very welcoming attitude, her voice and work as an artist is the cherry on top of it all! With her latest release LOVING WAYS, she projects her energy through lyrics. The opening lines say it all, “Oh all the loving ways to know, yea we got a ways to go, all the loving ways to grow.” LOVING WAYS places you right in the moment, with a message to remain positive despite adversity. She articulates it much more fluidly, so press play and get to those LOVING WAYS.
To introduce Monday Majesty, this recent music video release seems to be a perfect first. GIVE ME A MIRACLE, a dance tune by Fafa, is a powerful follow up to RUNNIN, and multilayered in its significance. Her vocal performance is astounding, the visuals are wild and creative, and its meaning and point in time it was conceived creates a mutual connection between us all. The combination of it all makes for a very entertaining and captivating work of art!
Fafa, a Chi-town raised artist from Abu Dhabi currently residing in the UAE, teams up with The BarCoe Studio for a cinematic visual performance. From the choregraphy, to the wardrobe, the visual effects, with the glitching transitions and different mirror reflections, and creativity like filming underwater, to running in the desert; the music video really grabs your attention. The dance beat guides the energy and her vocals perfect it; her lyrics were born of the confusion and uncertainty in the midst of pandemic lockdowns. As if we were waiting on something, as if we cannot take control, GIVE ME A MIRACLE is that reminder we have it within ourselves to move forward and to feel lucky we have the people who will show the light, expressed in a catchy dance beat!
Chicago recording artist Travie Austin links with Brad Kemp to drop an eight track record, in collaboration with a number of other artists and musicians. COME-BACK by Travie Austin and Brad Kemp, out September 18th, is an upbeat neo-gospel-soul pop record. Every track features complex melodies and harmonies laid down by Travie himself. Each song is produced and engineered by Brad Kemp, with five of the tracks featuring TomCat Trumpet, Davyd Reddyk, Anthony M. Rodriguez and Tim Burke.
The themes of empowerment, self confidence, moving on and getting through heartbreak are prevalent throughout the album. Travie Austin seems to channel Sisqo as well as soulful singers of decades further, archaic in its sound and tonality, but contemporary in his flows and melodies; his style is unique and refreshing! Track 3, MAKE A MOVE featuring Anthony M. Rodriguez, is a feel good, jazzy club record you can easily dance to, about making that first sensually strong move, falling in love, living in the moment and letting go. “If you don’t want me to leave you better make your move,” Travie sings, reminding his love interest not to waste any time. In LET GO Travie belts, “I know that it’s right for me, I’m not gonna call you back, cause you got a plane to catch,” further illustrating the theme of moving past a relationship and hoping for a better dynamic in a future partner. The feelings portrayed in each song are quite universal in their appeal.
“I don’t want to be that man anymore!” Travie croons in track eight, SAY GOODBYE, and the song sounds like he has a chorus backing him when the hook comes in. “Say goodbye to the ones who ain’t on your side, trying to tear your heart in two. And say goodbye to the ones trying to dim your light, they don’t shine as bright as you, cause you are so worthy, you are so special. Don’t let them see you fall, just keep your head up high, and say good bye!” This hook was quite powerful and exemplifies that theme of self confidence and moving on! A really inspiring song that will make you want to sing along as if you were in a huge choir.